This year, the Steller Victorian Open is missing a familiar face. It was at last year’s Open when Chris O’Meagher, or “Bear” as he was more affectionally known, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Chris had a formidable presence at the Steller Victorian Open and at many bowling greens around Australia and the Pacific region.
A recent report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on the heath of Australians highlighted that the risk of death from Pancreatic Cancer before age 65 is 1 in 167 and before age 85 jumps to 1 in 73.
In developed countries, Pancreatic cancer is the one of leading causes of cancer mortality across the world and Chris took the opportunity his own diagnosis created to promote pancreatic cancer awareness.
Chris’ goal was to return to the Steller Victorian Open in 2018 promoting a cause close to his heart, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
However it was Chris’ dream to see the purple ribbon, the internationally recognised colour for Pancreatic Cancer, on bowls shirts and in bowling clubs throughout Australia.
The Pancare Foundation, an organisation that supports pancreatic cancer patients and their families, as well as providing funding and research in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, was a great support to Chris and his family.
This year, with the support of Bowls Victoria, Anthony Ayoub at Drakes Pride, the Pancare Foundation, Melbourne Bowling Club (President Ewen Wilson and coach Shane Fordham), St Kilda Bowls Club (President Dan Manger) and Chris’ family, the purple ribbon has a presence at Shepparton Park Bowls Club this week.
Merchandise is available at Shepparton Park Bowls Club throughout the Steller Victorian Open, with funds raised going to support the work of the Pancare Foundation.
Donations can also be made online through the everyday hero link.